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March 18, 2011

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No. 1 Michigan Blasts No. 4 BYU

from press release

ANN ARBOR, Mich.
– On a beautiful Friday night (March 18) in Ann Arbor, the #1 ranked University of Michigan Men's Lacrosse team defeated the 4th ranked Cougars of Brigham Young by a score 16-6 at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse en-route to U-M's sixth win of the season. The Maize and Blue came out firing, opening up an eventual 9-0 lead late in the second quarter. Michigan cruised down the stretch as Brigham Young never trailed by any less than six goals.

BYU lost the opening faceoff but quickly regained possession for multiple offensive opportunities until U-M eventually gained possession themselves and set up in the offensive zone. Opening the scoring was freshman midfielder Doug Bryant (Princeton, NJ - Princeton), his first as a Wolverine, on an unassisted blast midway up the left wing. On a successful clear, junior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, MI - Seaholm) fed sophomore attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, OH – St. Ignatius) on a low blast from the crease for the quick 2-0 lead five minutes in.

Adding the third Michigan goal was Bryant for his second of the night on a pass behind the net from senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, OH – St. Xavier High). Carroll went on to add three goals of his own over the next four minutes for a 6-0 Wolverine lead at the end of the first quarter.

Momentum stayed with the home team in the second quarter as the Wolverines continued to control the ball. At 10:46, sophomore midfielder Joe Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, IL – Lake Forest) netted a blast off a rebound from Vasileff that rolled to the top of the box for his first of the game. The Wolverines clawed at the Cougars throughout the quarter shutting down clears, getting opportunities on offense and beating their opponent to loose groundballs.

Senior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, PA – Upper St. Clair) capitalized with a 5-yard blast straight out in front of the crease on a dropped outlet pass on BYU's failed clear at 6:56 of the second. Yealy netted his second three minutes later as BYU's goaltender fumbled the ball for another crease goal on an almost identical play. The Cougars netted back-to-back goals over the final three minutes of the half however to get on the board and trim Michigan's 9-2 lead after 30 minutes.

Starting the second half was senior goaltender Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, MI – Hotchkiss, CT) replacing senior goaltender Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, CO – Cherry Creek) as the Wolverines executed a planned goaltender swap as they have all season. The Cougars came out strong, scoring their first just 17 seconds into the quarter due to a Wolverine defensive breakdown. Just over two minutes later Bryant beat his defender on a drive from the mid wing his third and first hat trick as a Wolverine, lifting the team to a 10-3 lead.

At 8:51 in the third, junior midfielder Sean Sutton (Greenwich, CT - Greenwich) found the twine on a feed from Hrusovsky on the transition before the Cougars added their fourth goal of the game minutes later trying to gain momentum late in the third. Michigan was quick to stop the threat however. As the Wolverines executed their offense, Yealy scored his third on a textbook feed from transfer sophomore attackman Ryan Dutton-O'Hara (Mount Airy, MD – Urbana – St. John's) for the final goal of the quarter increasing Michigan's lead to 12-4 going into the final frame.

The boys in blue stayed with their game plan showing poise and determination on both sides of the ball as the fourth quarter got underway. Ending one of BYU's possession early was junior defender Austin Swaney (Grand Rapids, MI – East Grand Rapids) winning a groundball at midfield and driving to the net to score on a hard blast for his second of the season.

The following goal came under two minutes later as senior midfielder Roy Ichikawa (San Diego, CA – Torrey Pines) punched one in from the top of the box on a feed from Hrusovsky. BYU answered just under three minutes later but Hrusovsky added his second goal shortly after, beating the goaltender on a high shot from the top of the box making it 15-5 midway through the fourth.

Three minutes passed as both teams fought for the ball and possession with the Wolverines successfully shutting down the Cougars' clears and beating them to groundballs. Dutton-O'Hara scored the final U-M goal on a perfect feed from Vasileff for a quick-stick goal on BYU's crease. During the final minute of the game, sophomore goaltender Cy Abdelnour (Ann Arbor, MI – Pioneer) replaced Fowler as all three net-minders saw action in the win. BYU was able to score following the on-the-fly substation of Abdelnour to close out the scoring, 16-6.

Statistically, Michigan tied in man-up opportunites, lost in the save count, but won the rest of the categories. U-M outshot the Cougars 45-29, and scooped up 59 groundballs compared to 41 by BYU. U-M was 16 of 26 on faceoffs, and cleared the ball at a rate of 16-26 while riding Bringham Young to 12-25 totals. The Maize and Blue failed to score on two man-up attempts while the Cougars proved unsuccessful on three attempts.

The Wolverines will be back in action at home on Saturday, March 19 at 7:00pm EST against the University of Pittsburgh at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse in Ann Arbor, MI. For all of your Michigan men's lacrosse needs, please visit mgobluelacrosse.com.

NOTES
- Bryant (3-1-4), Carroll (3-1-4) had three goals and an assist while Hrusovsky (2-2-4) had two goals and two assists as the three tied for the points lead, while Yealy (3-0-3) came in second with three goals.

- Bryant earned his first career goal and assist in the game.

- Every healthy Wolverine player saw the field tonight.

- Senior faceoff specialist Brian Greiner (Grosse Pointe, MI – Grosse Pointe South/RPI) finished 15 of 24 and junior faceoff specialist Edward Ernst (Washington, DC – Sidwell Friends) finished 1 of 2 at the "X".

- Greiner led the team with eight groundballs, Yealy was second with seven and Paras finished third with five groundballs.

- Stone started the game finishing with five saves and two goals against. Fowler took over in the second half saving three and letting in three goals. Abdelnour played the final minute of the game saving zero and letting in one goal.

- Michigan improves to 8-10 all-time vs. BYU and has won the last six matchups.

- Ichikawa's goal was his first of the season.

- Vasileff set a career-high with three assists.

QUOTES
Head Coach John Paul
On his general impression of the game: "I'm pretty happy with the way we played overall. A lot of times in game like this where the guys are so fired up to play, you have to execute the way we want to execute. Obviously in the first half we were sticking to our game plan and that was the difference."

On practice this week coming into the game: "I was a little worried about this week because I missed practice Monday and Tuesday but those practices went fine. We have a great staff but it's not the week I wanted to miss, but when I was here Wednesday and Thursday I felt the practices went very well, the guys were focused. I felt we had a good plan, the guys were very energized during the week and were really focused on executing our plays."

On areas of emphasis for practice: "Riding, clearing, faceoffs and some of the subbing patterns we have to do with them, they sub very well. We worked really hard on our team defense which showed tonight; we played a pretty full game defensively which we haven't done this year."

On intensity throughout the game: "That's something we hang our hat on. It's something we expect from the guys and work on every day."

On the next game against Pittsburgh: "It's an obvious letdown game. We just told the guys we want to come out of this weekend feeling really good about ourselves. I want to see guys staying focused and energized for the game tomorrow and we'll find out very quickly if we come out ready to play or not."

On the offense: "I feel like we had our moments, we have a lot of weapons there. When we start to lapse and start to play a little less disciplined it is when great teams go on runs against us and that happened a couple times in the game. It's just us letting down a little bit and getting out of the game plan but we're getting there, and that is the point. We told the guys again after the game and that's our mantra, we're working towards May. Wins now are nice, but like I said we're working towards May."

Senior defenseman Matt Asperheim
On general impressions of the game: "It went great, BYU is a great team and to come out 9-2 like that especially in the first half. Defense played great, offense was rolling, it was a great game all around."

On the defense: "We planned a lot for this game and we knew what they were coming with, the goalies played well and we played physical. We could have used a little work on the groundballs but besides that we played well."

On being a senior captain: "It means a lot more, it is my last year and I'm working harder than I ever did. I can feel it because I'm a little older but besides that we're working hard we obviously want to be successful in May. It feels good the way we are playing, being a leader and having a team like this that's playing so well is a great feeling."

On the rest of the season: "We're going to try to keep rolling, keep working hard. We're playing well but we have a lot of work to do to be our best by May like coach always says so we'll stick with that and take on the big games as they come."

Freshman midfielder Doug Bryant
On his three goals of the game: "It felt great, especially in a big game like this. The team had a lot of energy during the game and throughout practice before the game so I was kind of building on that energy and it just happened. I took advantage of the openings I saw and went to the goal."

On being a part of a big game as a freshman: "It's a whole new level from high school which includes the energy that I was talking about so the high's are very high and the low's low compared to high school and it felt great to be a part of it."

On his feelings of playing for Michigan: "The team has been my core group that I spend the most time with this year as well as living with them in the future. It's a family atmosphere and it's great."

On what to work on going forward: "I definitely want to have more confidence, always being able to know whether I can capitalize on openings or not like tonight. With the way their defense was set up tonight with the short stick matchup on me, I want to be able to recognize if that happens again and take advantage of it by capitalizing."


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